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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I checked my own LP08s looking at the rear sight stampings(other than the s.n.) found under the sight on the barrel and the sight frame. I realized there are some marks(numbers+letters) on the frame of the sight base near the screw,and some others inside the sight frame stamped on the barrel body-flat top(the dove-tail of the sight frame).
Here is what I found. I have listed serial number, markings on the barrel and markings on the sight frame on either side of the screw.

These are the results from LP08s in my collection and five collector friends.

DWM 1914 #1316, 316, nothing
DWM 1914 #1469a, __69 F 9
ERFURT 1914 # 50, blank, blank(no screw present, doesn't seem to have ever had one))
ERFURT 1914 # 1966, EC, blank
ERFURT 1914 # 2324, EW (the E letter is updown), blank
ERFURT 1914 #5865a, L, nothing
ERFURT 1914 #4469b, C, nothing
ERFURT 1914 #3097a, L, nothing

DWM 1915 #1919, 3819, E 8
DWM 1915 #4179, 5879, N 8
DWM 1915 # 3701, 540, B 4
DWM 1915 # 6680, 8380, B 3
DWM 1915 # 693, 479, C
DWM 1915 #3398a, __98, K 0

DWM 1916 #2725, 2725, 7
DWM 1916 #8034, 8034, 0
DWM 1916 # 958a, 95, F 9
DWM 1916 #1245a, 1345, R 3
DWM 1916 # 1510b, 510S, Y 5
DWM 1916 #4572, __72, 6

DWM 1917 #1501e, .01, R 26
DWM 1917 #631, 4013, 0
DWM 1917 #8447a, 6947, 69
DWM 1917 # 8652a, 7252, Y 72
DWM 1917 # 2055b, 255, A 2
DWM 1917 # 2668g, 6368, 63
DWM 1917 # 850g, 8850, R 88
DWM 1917 # 6424a, 472, L 47
DWM 1917 # 9512e, 8512, Q 85
DWM 1917 # 605g, 810, E 81
DWM 1917 #1007g, 7507, H 75
DWM 1917 #2420h, 1920, 19
DWM 1917 #8711h, 5811, 58
DWM 1917 #2634k, 9534, 95
DWM 1917 #8238i, 4338, 43
DWM 1917 #9660m, 8560, 85
DWM 1917 # 2187a, 487, L 4
DWM 1917 # 421c, 8221, I 82
DWM 1917 # 665g, 9465, 94
DWM 1917 # 8531a, 5431, 54
DWM 1917 # 2499c, 299, Y 2
DWM 1917 # 9702a, 6802, Q 68
DWM 1917 #6360b, _360, H
DWM 1917 #6705f, __05, E 39
DWM 1917 #3980g, __80, 42
DWM 1917 #6974g, E __974, 43
DWM 1917 #8687d, __687

DWM 1918 # 810, 1610, 16 Y
DWM 1918 # 4483a, 4782, 47Q
DWM 1918 # 9756b, 265, 6 M
DWM 1918 #246a, 246, K

Now I realized that there is no link between the letters and s.n. in the Erfurt specimens,but the DWM ones are another matter.Very often there is a close relation between the number-letters near the screw on the rear sight frame(below the sight blade) and the numbers inside the frame(stamped on the flat surface of the barrel where the sight frame is dove-tailed fitted):these numbers are(almost always) a mix between the gun s.n.and the code near the screw.
Now my opinion about:the codes (letter/s and number/s)near the screw are the assembler's personal code,and the numbers inside the frame were necessary to identify the barrel.Why identify the barrel?
Let's take a step backwards.When an assembler had to finish the assembling of a P08(at this point already blued and numbered and proofed) gun,he took any of the blued barrels "on the desk",he put the glue on the threads, he screwed the barrel into the receiver,he put together the other parts thereby finishing the gun, he test fired the gun with two high-pressure testing rounds, and,if everything was right,he stamped the s.n. under the barrel(the "halo").If anything was wrong,he unscrew the barrel before the glue was hard and screwed another one...
The final assembling of the LP08 was slightly different.The assembler needed to get back from the bluing "department" the exact barrel that was prepared for this particular gun. This because he had already fitted/adjusted the rear sight frame(already numbered) by filing the dovetail of the barrel or that one of the frame for the right fit. The rear sight frame is a delicate piece, if forced into an improperly adjusted dove tail it will become damaged. If it were possible to successfully force the sight frame into the dove tail, there would be no need for first one and then two locking screws.

So,the upper flat surface of the barrel bears this mix of a part of the s.n. of the gun and of the assembler's code so that he can identify the proper barrel for the proper gun. After screwing on the finished barrel, the final fitting of the rear sight and test firing, the serial number was stamped onto the bottom of the barrel (the "halo" as always tells us it was the last part numbered on the gun). Adjusting of the stock attaching iron was probably made before of this, when the gun frame was still "in the white".Perfect specimens do not bear any track of "forced" attempts at fitting on the bluing of the stock lug rail and on the attaching iron neither. Finally the gun was cleaned, oiled again and stored.
Any further opinion about is wellcome.

I've to thank George Anderson for his fundamental contribution to this work:without his help I could not post it this way.
 

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My contribution to Paolo's post was only mechanical. I think Paolo's analysis of these upper barrel markings is fantastic. And I believe his conclusions are right "on the money".

This knowledge in the hands of the collecting community will force counterfeiters to go to even greater lengths to ply their trade. It will become a bit more difficult to boost a 1914 DWM P08 with some simple grinding and a barrel swop.
 

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PAOLO
Sorry that I missed this important post.

Outstanding research and analysis. I fully agree with George. Your detailed research gives collectors an understanding of the markings on DWM LP08 rear sights and an important tool to determine if a Luger is correct.
Thanks
Jan
 

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PAOLO
You stated: "he put the glue on the threads" Do you have any details as to the "glue"? Was it glue or lubrication to help the barrel thread on?
Jan
 

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Paolo,

Your research and the conclusions you offered to the community is essential and more then just interesting. Thank you very much that you shared this with us.
Within few days I will receive some LP08 coming in from Israel, bringing my collection of the Artilleries to a total of 17.
I will study the two markings like you did, and publish them in this thread, as a tribute to your study. I do not doubt that my findings will essentially give the same image that you found.
It will take some ten days to finish my examination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jan
I called it "glue" because it looks like(and smells like)pitch.It was intended as glue because,as you know,the P08 pieces had some allowed differences in the measures(meanly 0,005 or 0,1 mm.).So you can find a "long" receiver and a "short" barrel thread.If you screw them toghether,it will be hard,but very close!But if you screw a "short" receiver with a "long" barrel thread,you'll need the glue to be sure of the screwing.Actually there are no rules in the difficulty you can find in unscrewing a Luger barrel.The glue can be the 90% of the work you have to do,like as the 10%.Anyway you'have to heat it for "winning" the glue (if it is added to a strong screwing link) After you unscrewed it,if you clean both the threads and try to screw them again,you can see that sometimes it gets very hard (the final effort to get to the right position) earlier or later.It depends from the differences(the allowed ones - without the pieces had to be examinated by the Revisions Commission for stating the assembling was good enough).
I beg you pardon for the poor language.Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jan
I posted the above replay very early(too early) in the morning(Italian time).Already in the morning I wondered whether there was anything wrong in it.I realized that in my experience there were some barrels(very few) that looked like they never had any "glue" on their threads.So I called a very skilled gunsmith and two very advanced in guns repairing/restoring collectors I know.One of these took part in the rebarreling of about 200 P08s coming from the Balcans.They confirmed what I realized:not all the Luger barrels were fitted with the adding of the "glue".About 20% don't show any track of this matter.But the guy with the widest experience told me that the barrels without the "glue" were the most difficult to be unscrewed.He suggests that (probably) the couples receivesr/barrels with the highest screwing strain were not "glue" added (they did not need?).They also suggested the "glue" is not plain pitch,but something that looks pitch with the adding of some resin.
 

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PAOLO
Thanks for the information on the glue. I was completely unaware of its use.

Observations of a few additional LP08's from my small collection:
DWM 1917 LP08, sn 9937, sight frame: R 75, under sight on barrel:7537
DWM 1917 LP08, sn 1096a, sight frame: Y 92, under sight on barrel; 9296
DWM 1917 LP08, sn 7670f, sight frame: E 7(?)0, under sight on barrel: 070
DWM 1917 LP08, sn 9868g, sight frame: F 67, under sight on barrel: 768
Note: did not remove any part of sight. The numbers on the barrel under the sight were sometimes partly covered by the sight base and hard to determine for certain.

These approximately agree with your detailed observations indicating correlation between the serial number and numbers on the sight and barrel..
Jan
 

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PAOLO.......

1914 Erfurt 7590a Barrel: W Frame:blank

1915 DWM 6016ns Barrel: 7716 Frame: B

1917 DWM 8940a Barrel: 5 over 6340 Frame:p 63

1917/20 DWM 2056f Barrel:? over 975 Frame:? 97

1918 DWM 3815ns Barrel:3 sideways over 215 Frame:52


Good luck with your study.
 

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One more: matching except mag... Erfurt 1914 3602 a, "L" inside under the ramp and nothing on the sight base on either side of the screw. BTW...the sight has "02" stamped on four components, and acceptance marks on dovetail, ramp, slide, slide button and sight notch.

Looking at the "L" in the well under the sight ramp, there are also a couple lightly stamped "X"s, one overlaps onto the capital "L".

HTH
 

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Paolo,

I promised to give here the markings on the Artilleries in my collection.
I was waiting for the arrival of ten Artilleries I could lay hands on in Isreal. They arrived last week, but the final paperwork takes another five days, due to Eastern holidays.

I give the total list here, but so far I can give only details for the Pistols I have here now. Next week I will complete the list, after examination of the Isreali shipment.

Erfurt 1914, SN 686,
DWM 1915, SN 7022, 5 M, 294
DWM 1915, SN 8494,
DWM 1915, SN 1653v,
DWM 1916, SN 3012,
DWM 1916, SN 9754a, R 6, 654
DWM 1917, SN 3146,
DWM 1917, SN 3464a, L 14, 1464
DWM 1917, SN 4963d, K 28, 2863
DWM 1917, SN 7812e,
DWM 1917, SN 1162f,
DWM 1918, SN 9528, 14, 79
DWM 1918, SN 1379a,
DWM 1918, SN 1139g,

Mauser Latvian Contract, SN 3554v - no special markings
Mauser Commercial 1940, SN 7831m - no special markings

Mauser Persian contract, SN farsi 3025
Mauser Persian contract, SN farsi 3339 (see comment below)

I never noticed other numbers than farsi on the Persian Artillery. Well, now I found the only plain readable numbers on this pistol (not in farsi like all other markings). On top of the barrel inside of the side base I read 296 (below on the barrel there is in farsi 3339). Inside, marked on the backside of the farsi scaled sight - I found '339'. We will see if this is confirmed by the second Persian which is bound to arrive here next week.

Paolo, this is a very interesting experience. Thanks again that you discovered it, and shared it with the community.
 
G

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A couple of more LP08 sight numbers:

1914 DWM 1612ns 612 6
1915 DWM 669ns 2769 B 7

I have a list of the sight numbers I gathered several years back, and will report them later.
Another interesting aspect of the rear sight of the LP08 that I don't think I have seen addressed is the compensation built into the staff for rotational drift of the bullet. As the rear sight is raised, it moves to the left as the right hand rifling causes the bullet to drift right. As the bullet tries to nose over, the air pressure under the nose of the bullet tries to keep it up, and the bullet has a slight drift to the right. The 1903 Springfield rifle sight has the same type compensation built into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jan,Taudelt,Johnny,Joop,Chuck,George
Many thanks for your further data.They confirm that almost always there is a relationship between serial number of the LP08,the code I believe is the assembler's identification, and the numbers on the barrel inside the sight frame.Sorry I think that my effort to explain what's the reason why there is a relationship will remain a theory.

Johnny
You said:"Another interesting aspect of the rear sight of the LP08 that I don't think I have seen addressed is the compensation built into the staff for rotational drift of the bullet. As the rear sight is raised, it moves to the left as the right hand rifling causes the bullet to drift right. As the bullet tries to nose over, the air pressure under the nose of the bullet tries to keep it up, and the bullet has a slight drift to the right. The 1903 Springfield rifle sight has the same type compensation built into it."

I agree completely with your explanation.I've to say that I never "met" before another collector who dealt with this topic(like as I did getting exactly your conclusions-I'm completely unaware of rifles,but I realized that some guns like the '96 Karl Gustavs rifle has a long range rear sight-the normal one fully raised up- that's not in the middle ).BRAVO!
 
G

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It appears that my small list of sight numbers are still on the hard drive of my old computer. I could not find a hard copy of the list which only contained 15 or so numbers, but I had tried to make a correlation between the number stamped in the 1:00 position by the screw with the number preceding the last two digits of the serial number of the pistol found under the sight. This was true on most of the early date LP08's, but still did not follow a set pattern.
On my 1914 dated LP08 with the serial number 1612ns, the number 612 is found under the sight, and a 6 at the 1:00 position of the screw.
On my 1915 dated LP08 witht the serial number 669ns, the number 2769 is found under the sight, and a 7 at the 1:00 position of the screw.
Apparently the only pattern is there is no definite pattern.
 

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I thought I would show a picture of my 1917 DWM rear sight. Their appears to be a proof mark on the left side. And the number 63 on the right side. The flat part of the barrel has a number 371. All this has nothing to do with the pistols serial number 9070.
Paolo this is great stuff you have come up with. And I and other Luger collectors I have shared your information with really appreciate it.

Download Attachment: Lugergrips 011.jpg
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This is a very interesting thread and I don't know how I missed it. I am particulaly taken with the detailed assemby process for the LP08. If the barrel was fitted with the sight and assembled to a specific frame, then disassembled for finishing, then re-assembled for test firing and serial numbering...when was the witness mark struck?
 

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Originally I reported the artillery as:
DWM 1917 # 7131h, 613, 61

Upon closer examination, the barrel flat is stamped 6131 (difficult to photograph in its entirety, highlighted in yellow). The info should read:
DWM 1917 # 7131h, 6131, 61

Previous post edited to show correct info.
Download Attachment: Arty Rsight all nums.JPG
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